Things That Go Boom


Filed: Community, Games, PlatinumGames, Vanquish

Hi. I’m Ippei Shiraki, sound designer on Vanquish.

I’ve never worked on an SF title before, so it was kind of a harrowing experience for me. While robots are pretty well known, I would have to say that they are still almost fictional in nature. At least they are to me. Industrial robots are made from combining existing items, such as motors, which means that I’d end up making sounds that sounded like things already in existence. However, the robots that attack you in Vanquish are sentient, and have their own AI. That meant the first order of business was creating more “human” sounding robots from scratch. For creatures that are “alive,” you tend to create sounds by putting effecting/changing up existing animal sounds, but in Vanquish I relied heavily on synthesizers to create something completely different. One of the members of our sound design team really love synthesizers, so I was able to hand off quite a bit of the enemy sound design duties to him. LOL.

Thanks to his effort, our enemies have a new sound unlike anything you’ve heard before.

Sam’s gun was also probably the most important sound in the game… Actually, I ended up having to remake sounds that had already been approved because of some differing opinions from other members of the development team. The important part was to make sure that the sound was pleasing to the ears and something that you didn’t get tired of. Having to remake something that you’ve already created is an incredibly difficult process; however, when you hear the sound in the game, even I must admit that the remade sound was superior to what I had originally. When you are creating something, you tend to put on blinders towards your own work. I realize that these are the times when the rest of the team’s opinions are really important. Not to be singing my own praises, but the heavy machine gun sounds really cool when you are in AR mode.

We more or less as a team approached the game with the main concept that it should be fun to play above all else, and the sound effects work to further this ideal. I really hope that the sounds startle you… and that you have a great time playing Vanquish.

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6 Comments Add Your Own

Tyson Collins Posted on September 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm

That’s one of the things I really noticed in the demo. The heavy machine gun, the boost mechanism and the suit during melee attacks all sound amazing.

FAUNA Posted on September 17, 2010 at 3:42 am

Yes, the sound design was one of the most impressive things I noticed during the demo. The robot effects were especially crazy when you get in close proximity. Oh yeah, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the Japanese voice track option in the west. I'm SERIOUSLY craving VANQUISH…

Girdle Posted on September 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm

The quality of sound is so impoprtant – not just the clarity but the believabilty (if thats a real word) of them. If they sound fake and amateurish they just ruin the whole effect. Great sounds create atmosphere and help the produce the adrenalin rush.

SonicTHP Posted on September 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm

I really appreciate how all the sounds slow down when you activate ARS. I especially like hearing all the slow voices.

60Hertz Posted on September 22, 2010 at 11:57 am

i believe sound design is one of the un-sung heroes of game dev… From what i've played the sound design in Vanquish is amazing, properly futuristic and unique. Kudos!

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